March 20, 2019 / 5:43 AM / in 2 months

Small Australian copper producer makes $575 million offer for Glencore mine

MELBOURNE - (Reuters) - Small Australian copper producer Aeris Resources Ltd on Wednesday said it had offered to buy global trader and miner Glencore’s CSA copper mine in the state of New South Wales for $575 million.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured in front of the company's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, July 18, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

Aeris said in a statement that negotiations to buy the mine in Cobar were at a late stage, with the offer comprising $525 million(396.17 million pounds) in cash, $50 million in Aeris shares and a royalty payable to Glencore.

A spokesman for Glencore declined to comment.

The Queensland-headquartered Aeris, with a market value of A$78 million ($55.19 million), said the acquisition could be funded through a combination of debt, an equity capital raising and a so-called streaming agreement through which it would sell silver produced at the mine alongside copper to Glencore.

“(Aeris) have a mine down the road, so as to that, it makes sense and the asset had been flagged for sale for a while,” said an analyst in Sydney, declining to be identified as the deal has not been finalised.

“Cobar produces around 50,000 tonnes of copper a year, so that would make for a mid-tier copper player in Australia.”

Glencore had put the mine up for sale in 2015, but withdrew it from the market in 2016 after failing to agree a deal with potential buyers.

The debt component of the acquisition would stand at between $250 million and $300 million, with the capital raising at between $185 million and $240 million and Glencore’s streaming deal at $35 million to $40 million, Aeris said.

Aeris said it was in late stage discussions on funding with major shareholder Special Portfolio Opportunity V Limited, which is a subsidiary of a fund managed by Asia-based alternative investment manager PAG, as well with Orion Mine Finance and others.

The equity component of the raising is being managed by RBC Capital Markets and Macquarie Capital, it said.

Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford

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